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Rumpelstiltskin Gyspy Pickup Audio Demo & Review

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Here's a little demo of Aaron's Rumpelstiltskin Gypsy pickups which are the closest approximation of the Band of Gypsys and Woodstock pickups used by Jimi Hendrix that I have ever played and I've owned and built many Fender Stratocaster guitars and have tried countless Fender custom shop pickups. In comparison to the Fender Custom Shop '69 pickups (which sound great if you love the modern Stevie Ray type sounds with lots of quack), these are more vintage and smoother to my ears, more closely resembling Jimi's tone. I find the CS '69s to have more of an ice pick to them especially when overdriving or using clean boosts, fuzz, etc. they can get a bit overly sharp and hard to tame.

The Gypsy set sounds just right! They have many of those same qualities of the CS 69s because it uses the same gray bobbins and plain enamel wire, etc. but these are hand wound or "scatter wound" as some call it and which adds much more character to the notes and something else magical that these absolutely do not have that harsh ice pick that the CS 69s do. Normally, when I record, I'm always trying to figure out how to smooth out the tone to make it sound warmer and more vintage like Jimi's tones were. Instead, it's almost as if all the EQ stuff has been done and these just sound sweet, smooth, warm, yet retain all the spank, open, airy tone and beautiful detailed character and sustain.

The magnets are strong and the winding was uniform and measured out at around 5.77k neck, 5.8k middle RWRP and 5.83k bridge as I wanted a vintage wind without more beef on the bridge. Also, my pickguard is the Voodoo style with the reverse slanted angle, which kind of warms up the ice pick in the bridge even more.

I just can't say enough about how fantastic these pickups sound! Aaron at Rumplesstiltskin is THE man to see for pickups without a doubt. Nothing I've played in 35+ years has come those close to Jimi's original Woodstock and B.O.G. tones like the Rumpelstiltskin Gypsy set of pickups. If you're a true Jimi fan and want the real deal sound, try some and buy some!

He also makes another set called the "Experienced Set" which is based off of Jimi's 1966-68 era of early songs such as Hey Joe, Wind Cries Mary, Purple Haze, Axis Bold As Love, etc. They are voiced slightly different. Check them out on his site
This demo was done on a cheap 9v battery amp-u-plug-play with a 1 watt speaker but you'll get the idea. I'll post some real amp clips soon! Click Play Arrow below...

Tech Notes: The pickups were made using reverse stagger magnets to emulate the lefty Strat tones Jimi was able to get with the smooth B string due to the taller magnets on the treble side. They where installed in a White Woodstock style Strat using a Classic 60s 2 piece Alder body, a custom maple capped neck reverse headstock exactly like how Jimi's was at Woodstock, Callaham steel block tremolo bridge assembly and original F tuners, reverse voodoo Strat pickguard and 5 way switch with .1uF tone cap and 2 No Load tone pots. No load tone pots engaged on all positions.

The new clips added up top in the player was an impromptu jam that had no real PA, etc. and I was focused more on dialing in sounds rather than the songs being played perfectly so bear with me and try to get most out of the clips. Certain ones are long but towards the end of Message to Love and a couple others, there's some great feedback that these pickups were able to produce to how Aaron wound them for a certain level of microphonics which is just incredible.